Can we talk about cultural appropriation?
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Before I jump in: my intention is not to start a firestorm here---I'm hoping for an open, polite discussion in which we can share and inform one another. Can we all agree to keep things friendly?
Recently, I've been hearing the phrase "cultural appropriation" used quite a bit. I use the words "gypsy" and "tribal" in many of my listings, descriptions, etc.---and I do so with much love. I consider myself a *gypsy* soul---a traveler, both in body and mind--and I have a strong *tribe* of close friends and family who support me and share in my life.
That being said, I understand that these words carry different significance to others and might even be seen as hurtful, or as stealing an identity that isn't *mine*.
I'm hoping to open up dialogue about this and see where others stand on the matter.
Posted at 9:57 pm Jul 2, 2012 EDT
It feels like certain words have gotten to the point where they are both cultural identifiers, and adjectives describing a certain feel or aesthetic that may or may not be related to the original culture.
I think it is a bit offensive to appropriate a part of a culture (Say, Native American headdresses) and try to commercialise and sell it, but saying an item is Native American or tribal style, look, feel, aesthetic, etc, isn't as offensive?
It's a touchy area.
Posted at 10:17 pm Jul 2, 2012 EDT
There are always people who will be offended by something. Or nothing....
I think we have to be very sure of ourselves and our personal motivations when using names or labels. If your intentions are pure, as opposed to being prejudicial or passive-aggressive or eighty bazillion other things, then I say, you've just go to be you.
And of course there's always the concept of ignorance....
Posted at 10:18 pm Jul 2, 2012 EDT
We are in America. We thrive on appropriation. ;)
Seriously though, no culture owns inspiration. If you enjoy it make it. Make sure you abide by Federal regulations regarding labeling native american items etc. Don't deliberately be offensive, and you should be good to go.
Posted at 10:20 pm Jul 2, 2012 EDT
Uh oh... I just listed a bunch of new items and in one or two of my tags for big hoop earrings I think I may have used the word gypsy. I had not realized anyone might take offense at that.
Now you mention it I can see this is inconsiderate, and even if this is debatable, I would personally rather err on the side of caution and respect
I am not a gypsy and as much as I love all the romantic images I naively imagine are associated with gypsies, from now on, I will leave it to those who are, to use this as a tag.
I am glad this was mentioned. Thanks!
Now I just I hope I can remember where I used that!
Posted at 10:26 pm Jul 2, 2012 EDT
Spirit Y Sol says:
Recently, I've been hearing the phrase "cultural appropriation"
Has someone accused you of "cultural appropriation" or are you anticipating a potential assault from the extreme politically correct camp?
Etsy is a global marketplace. The rich tapestry of ethnic and multicultural confluences, influences and inspirations found here represents an aesthetic celebration of diversity and excitement for artists, designers and fashionistas!
Posted at 10:34 pm Jul 2, 2012 EDT